"Gold Diggers" and America in the Thirties
"Gold Diggers" released in the beginning of the great depression, one year from the height of unemployment in the United States, opens with a show and song "we're in the money" that is shut down before it even opens when the set is literally repossessed. The heroines then have no work and don't even want to get out of bed. When they awake Trixie says "let's see what the neighbors have to offer" as she steals their milk. In this establishing scene we see "the gold diggers" in a different light then in the show they were previously in. Going from such a lavish scene to this shows a harsh contrast and economic realities of the period. Even when Brad Roberts, Robert Treat Bradford in disguise, offers to finance a show embodying the spirit of the depression the gold diggers all believe he's joking and no one believes that he can get the money. This disbelief grows when he offers to write a check and then says he can't, as well as him being late to the meeting to deliver the cash. Even when he delivers the money Trixie believes that its from a bank robbery and that the money is stolen. Even thinking that Brad was risking going to prison by appearing in the show. The reactions to Brad and the assumptions are very reflective of the economic times as well as the society of the time. Where they even insinuate that's there isn't even enough money out there to pay for the show. Where in this time I assume that the US dollar was backed by gold and much less inflated where there was literally much less currency around.
We also see a development of the "gold digger" character that definitely was sprung from the economic struggles of the day. In "Gold Diggers" Brad's brother comes to buy Paulie , Brad's wife to by, off so that we would release Brad from his oath to marry her. Brad's brother brings his lawyer and they bring with them certain assumptions about these showgirls. While we know them as hard working...
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